Published on 01-31-2007

RELEASE\: IMMEDIATE Contact: Sandy Bass-Cors
M-F, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST

(Alexandria, VA: January 31, 2007): "In its zeal to kill a pro-motoring consumer/pro-small business bill in Oklahoma, and to seal its relationship with the car companies, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) has misrepresented the recently introduced Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act to its Oklahoma membership, wrongly stating that the Right to Repair Act will "depend on a state government agency and the Oklahoma court system to assist repairers in acquiring automotive service information," stated David Parde, president, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

"ASA has contradicted itself in its own press release, dated January 30, 2007, and has inadvertently made the argument FOR passage of the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, HB 1584. The legislation only mandates court action by consumers or repair facilities if the car companies do not release the entire necessary repair information to the vehicle owners and repair shops. Does ASA believe that the car companies allegedly plan not to comply once the bill becomes law, forcing consumers and shops to go to court? The state agency with jurisdiction is the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission.

"Falling back on its association with the car companies' clearinghouse called the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), ASA states in its release that they are "working through the voluntary National Automotive Service Task Force to assure repairers timely service information via the automaker web sites.

"However, ASA member Steve Brotherton, who testified in Congress against the Right to Repair Act and for NASTF, has now publicly stated that NASTF doesn't work and never will.

"NASTF is car company founded, funded and monitored. It's the classic fox watching over the chicken coup," stated Parde.

The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, HB 1584, allows motorists to choose where, how and by whom to have their vehicles repaired, whose parts they wish to purchase, even work on their vehicles themselves. Known by the abbreviated title of "The Right to Repair Act", the legislation protects car companies' proprietary information while allowing consumer choice.

Sponsored by State Rep. Lucky Lamons (D-Tulsa), the legislation answers the needs of motoring consumers who more and more find themselves turned away from their repair shop of choice and told to return to the car dealership. The bill is a win-win for Oklahoma's motoring consumers, the nearly 3,000 Oklahoma aftermarket shops, the Oklahoma economy and jobs, and the environment.

"ASA is the only aftermarket association who broke with its aftermarket brothers and sided with the car companies on the Right to Repair Act. ASA is committing a disservice to its membership by not helping them to obtain all of the necessary repair information, and its doing an even bigger disservice to its membership by misrepresenting the legislation," concluded Parde.

The national Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, HR 2048, passed its first hurdle in May 2006, in the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Due to the congressional calendar the bill didn't move into the next phase. The national "Right to Repair Act" will be reintroduced in this Congress.